Special thanks to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Brian Dowler who sent this report along . . .

ATLANTA-Only one point separated the first and second place finishers in the Wild Turkey Bourbon/National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Friction Calling Contest, but in the end, Brookville, Pa. native Matt Van Cise’s finesse of friction calls earned him a place in the winner’s circle.

Van Cise is a two-time Grand National Champion in the Senior Open Division, but a relative newcomer to competitive friction calling.

“I placed second in a local competition in Altoona, Pa., last weekend,” said Van Cise. “This was only my fifth or sixth friction calling competition and I almost called the NWTF to drop out of the friction division because I haven’t been practicing much.”

Terence Williamson, of Buhl, Ala., placed second in the competition, which took place during the NWTF’s Convention and Sport Show, held February 21 to February 24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Callers were judged on their ability to mimic at least four different calls with a box, a paddle, a pot and peg or a scratch box.

“Friction calls are very popular with hunters,” said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. “Most hunters carry at least one or two friction calls when hunting. This event is a tribute to that popularity.”

All 27 contestants entered in the event were NWTF members, over age 21 and have won first place in an NWTF-sanctioned open, state or friction calling contest during the past year. The top five contestants received trophies and split $3,100 in prize money with the top winner receiving $1,000.

“The Grand National Calling Contest is the premier turkey calling contest,” said Keck. “So, it’s natural that we hold the Friction Division. They’re popular calls that hunters have spent years perfecting.”

For more information about the NWTF’s Friction Division Calling Contest, or any other Convention highlights, call (800) THE-NWTF.

Top Five Contestants
1st: Matt Van Cise, Brookville, Pa.
2nd: Terence Williamson, Buhl, Ala.
3rd: Jeff Murphy, Rayle, Ga.
4th: Matt Morrett, Harrisburg, Pa.
5th: Sadler McGraw, Camden, Ala.

Did any of you Strut Zoners attend the NWTF’s annual convention this weekend? Any other wild turkey news to report? Let us know here at OL’s Strut Zone.

—Steve Hickoff